How To Remove Too Much Transmission Fluid: Save Your Gears

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Learning how to remove too much transmission fluid from your vehicle would save your gearbox from damage. It could also aid the transmission to function smoothly and efficiently while enhancing the work of the crankshaft.

Remove Too Much Transmission Fluid

You may want a professional mechanic to help you out, but if you can’t afford the labor costs that come with hiring a mechanic, we’ve got you. In this article are simple steps that you can take at home to rid your transmission of surplus fluid.

What Are Efficient Ways To Remove Excess Transmission Fluid?

The most efficient ways to remove excess transmission fluids from your vehicle are by the drain plug and the siphoning methods. Both methods have their merits and disadvantages but they do a great job. The following steps will detail how to go about each method.

  • Removing Too Much Fluid With the Drain Plug Method

Note that this method is not ideal as you’re almost guaranteed to drain more fluid than necessary, which would be detrimental. However, if you have sharp reflexes, you might get it right and drain just the right amount of fluid. The tools that you’ll need include two car jacks, wheel chocks, a drain pan and a socket set. Also, ensure that the engine is completely cool before beginning to prevent burns.

Raise the front of the vehicle by placing each car jack behind each of the front wheels so that you can get access to the transmission fluid. Then place the wheel chocks in front of the rear wheels to keep the vehicle from moving. Next is to place the drain pan underneath the vehicle and unscrew the plug with the socket until it becomes loose enough to be done by hand. Remember to keep the plug in your hands while the transmission fluid pours into the drain and ensure that the fluid is cold to prevent burning your fingers.

Once you’re sure you’ve drained enough fluid, quickly replace the plug and secure it to prevent further drainage. You should also have hand gloves on all this time to protect your hands. After draining the excess fluid, remove the car jacks and wheel chocks and take the vehicle for a 20-minute ride to heat the transmission fluid then check the fluid level. The disadvantage of this method is that you might over-drain or under-drain the fluid, in which case you need to repeat the process.

  • Applying the Siphoning Method to Remove Excess Fluid

You can also use the siphoning method to take out extra fluid from the transmission, which is a lot easier and cheaper than the first process. This involves using a transmission fluid removal tool, which is a makeshift pump made from a big syringe attached to a rubber hose. On the other hand, you can just purchase a transfer pump for car engine oils.

To do this, first, get a large container to house the pump and the hose to keep them dry during the entire process. Also, remember to allow the engine to cool down completely to avoid burning your hands during the process. Next, attach the pump to the top of the container where you pour the transmission fluid and draw it out until it reaches the “normal” level. When you’re satisfied with the level of the fluid, drive the vehicle for 20 minutes and re-check the fluid levels.

Siphoning Method to Remove Excess Fluid

If the fluid level is perfect, then your work is done but if there’s still excess then you’ll need to repeat the process. This method has the same drawback as the drain plug method, which is that you have no way of knowing the volume of fluid to remove. However, the siphoning method is quicker and easier to implement than the drain plug method. Thus, if there’s still excess liquid after the first try, repeating the process won’t be much of a problem.

How To Prevent Pouring Too Much Transmission Fluid

To prevent pouring too much transmission fluid, always check your car’s manual for the exact quantity or level of transmission fluid your vehicle requires. This would serve as a guide to help you pour just the right amount that’ll enable your transmission to perform optimally.

Remember, you’ll have trouble shifting gears, transmission failure or damage it entirely if you overfill or underfill the gearbox. To save you all the stress involved in draining the overfilled transmission fluid, then avoid pouring too much in the first place. After all, prevention is better than spending lots of time and money curing the problem.

1. Use a Funnel to Measure the Right Amount of Fluid

Use a funnel to measure the volume of transmission fluid as stated in the car’s manual. Make sure the funnel is calibrated in the measurement that your car manual provides. If not, then you’d have to convert the final volume into the measurement specified by the manual. This helps with getting the exact volume of liquid required.

2. Pour the Fluid into the Transmission

Once you have the right measurement, gently pour the fluid into the reservoir until the last drop. Now, plunge a dipstick into the reservoir and check the level of the fluid then start the engine and let it idle long enough to warm it.

Pour the Fluid into the Transmission

This will ensure that all bubbles are eliminated and all components of the manual transmission are lubricated. Finally, immerse the dipstick into the reservoir to check the level of the fluid.

3. Consult a Professional Mechanic

However, if you don’t trust your measuring skills and technical know-how, you can always consult a professional mechanic to help you out. Take note that it’ll come at an extra cost, which might be cheap or expensive depending on the mechanic.

Our checks reveal that changing a transmission fluid ranges between $155 and $255. The labor costs are around $120 and $180 while the fluid should cost you between $15 and $25.

How Can You Check the Level of Transmission Fluid?

You can check the level of CVT transmission fluid in your vehicle by choosing between two options — using a dipstick or observing the level of the fluid when the reservoir is opened.

Check the Level of Transmission Fluid

The dipstick is more reliable and accurate, so we recommend you use it instead of mere observation.

  • Dipstick Method

The dipstick is usually located on the left side (passenger side) of the engine featuring an orange or yellow top/handle protruding out. Pull it out and insert it all the way into the transmission reservoir then pull it out. Check the specific level of the fluid on the dipstick and compare it to the one displayed in your car’s manual. If it’s they’re the same, then you’re good to go.

However, if the level on the dipstick is higher than the one in your car’s manual, you have overfilled transmission. If the level on the dipstick is lower than the one shown in the manual, then the transmission fluid is too low.

  • Observation Method

The other method to check automatic transmission fluid levels is by opening the top of the reservoir and checking the level with your unaided eyes. There’s a thin line inside the reservoir which indicates the right level the transmission liquid should be at. If it’s below the line, then you need to top up, but if it’s above the line, then you have a high fluid level and need to draw out some of the surplus fluid.

Can Overfilling Transmission Fluid Cause Damage to the Intake Manifold?

Overfilling transmission fluid can potentially cause damage to the intake manifold. It is crucial to maintain the correct fluid level, as excess fluid may overflow into the intake manifold, leading to a range of issues. To prevent damage, it is advisable to adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines and regularly refer to cleaning intake manifolds information.


Now that you’ve discovered how to remove too much transmission fluid, we believe that you can correctly and safely carry it out when the need arises.

Here is a summary of the important points covered in this article:

  • There are two ways of drawing out excess transmission fluid: the drain plug method and the siphoning method.
  • The drain plug method involves putting a large drain under a raised car and removing the plug under the transmission, allowing the excess liquid to flow out.
  • The siphoning process requires using a pump made from a huge syringe and hose, which is used to remove the surplus fluid.
  • However, take note that with both methods, there’s no way of telling the exact amount of liquid to draw out, thus you’ll rely on your instincts.
  • Always ensure that the engine is cool before drawing out the extra fluid and be sure to put on protective clothes like gloves.

The best way to get rid of too much transmission fluid is by taking the vehicle to a professional mechanic to have it done. On the other hand, you can avoid overfilling transmission by strictly adhering to the instructions in the car.

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